Patricia Yeo: Cooking from A to Z
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Patricia Yeo: Cooking from A to Z

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by Patricia Yeo, Julia Moskin

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Think fusion cooking is something you shouldn't try at home?

Think being a three-star chef is a man's job?

Think spicy Buffalo wings, streetside potato knishes, and comforting chicken soup are only for the uninspired palate?

Think again.

When it comes to world-class chefs, Patricia Yeo breaks the mold. Growing up in a Chinese family in Malaysia, she was


Think fusion cooking is something you shouldn't try at home?

Think being a three-star chef is a man's job?

Think spicy Buffalo wings, streetside potato knishes, and comforting chicken soup are only for the uninspired palate?

Think again.

When it comes to world-class chefs, Patricia Yeo breaks the mold. Growing up in a Chinese family in Malaysia, she was raised on the big, bold flavors of Indian, Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, and Thai cooking that wafted through her grandmother's kitchen and the streets of Kuala Lumpur. It wasn't until she was a grad student in biochemistry at Princeton that Yeo turned her creativity and passion to the kitchen — where she's been dazzling critics and diners ever since, earning a rare three stars from the New York Times for her food at restaurant AZ.

In her cookbook debut, Yeo lets us into her three-star kitchen - and in on the secrets of her delicious "fusion home cooking." Layering flavors, playing with contrasts, paying tribute to beloved comfort foods, and bringing the world's boldest ingredients together with ease, these light, appealing recipes are at once daringly new and reassuringly familiar.

Forget everything you thought you knew about "serious food" and discover the joys of playful, flavorful cooking in this extraordinary cookbook from a new talent who's got the whole food world talking.

Editorial Reviews

Chic New Yorkers have tried to keep it a secret, but AZ is making waves. Hidden away on a quiet block in downtown Manhattan, Patricia Yeo's stylish Asian-American restaurant has earned critic and diner accolades for its imaginative and fast-changing fare. Patricia Yeo: Cooking From A to Z instructs those of us without AZ reservations on the fine art of delicacies such as tea-smoked chicken and lime and ginger crème brûlée. Refreshing four-season fare.

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
7.10(w) x 11.18(h) x 0.82(d)

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Patricia Yeo Cooking from A to Z

By Patricia Yeo, Julia Moskin, Alexander Martinez and Jody H. Fausett

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2002 Patricia Yeo and Julia Moskin
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-6214-2


Ingredients and Basic Recipes

In this chapter I'll share with you the fundamentals of my kitchen, whether I'm cooking at home or in a restaurant. Most of them are ingredients that I simply buy; some are simple recipes that I make in big batches and use often. They are not the most important element of my food, and most have substitutes that are available in any supermarket, such as freshly grated lime zest instead of kaffir lime leaves.

I use these "exotic" ingredients for fun. Shopping for them is one of my favorite ways to spend a Sunday afternoon, sniffing out new food and exploring a new neighborhood in the process. But you can simply order all these ingredients from the sources listed here.



This Middle Eastern chili powder (Aleppo is in Syria) is mild and very fragrant. Aleppo chili adds a slightly smoky flavor as well as light heat. Hot paprika or Spanish smoked paprika can be used as substitutes. If substituting cayenne, use half the amount.

You can buy ground Aleppo chili at Middle Eastern markets. I buy it in small quantities because the smoky-sweet quality seems to fade quickly.


Fermented black beans are salted soybeans that are allowed to ferment in the sun. (They are completely unrelated to American black or turtle beans.) Good ones should have a pungent, almost olive-like smell. They are widely available at Asian markets in this country. Avoid beans that have visible salt crystals; the flavor is not as good on these oversalted beans, and they tend to be very hard and impossible to puree.


Called ghee in India, where it is widely used for culinary (and religious) purposes, clarified butter is pure butterfat. The milk solids that make butter creamy and milky (and which make up about 40 percent of the butter) are removed by slow cooking. Clarified butter can be heated to a much higher temperature than butter without burning.

It is used in French cooking as well as Indian, so ghee can be found in gourmet and Indian markets. You can make it by melting about twice the quantity of butter (for example, 8 tablespoons of butter will yield about 4 tablespoons of ghee) over very low heat without stirring. The milk solids will slowly separate and settle to the bottom. Skim off any froth that rises to the top. Pour off the golden oil into a glass container and leave the solids behind in the pan. Ghee lasts indefinitely, especially if refrigerated.


Small dried chiles from Thailand, bird chiles are my favorites because they add a straightforward note of heat without a lot of extra flavor. Dried piquins or even hot red pepper flakes (1 teaspoon per chile) are a good substitute.

For fresh chiles I use jalapeños or serranos; serranos are hotter, so use less. I do not seed fresh chiles before mincing them to add to recipes, but if you prefer a less hot result, seed them first. Always wear gloves when handling fresh chiles.


Canned coconut milk from Asia is my choice, especially the Thai brand Chao Koh.

When I want a thicker result, I call for "coconut cream" instead. (This is not the sweetened cream of coconut you can buy in the drinks section of the supermarket.) Like milk, coconut milk naturally separates in the container. If you don't shake the can before opening, you'll find a thick, creamy layer on top of the milk, making up about one-third of the can. Spoon it off and use it where coconut cream is called for.


Thai curry pastes are purees of chiles and aromatics, and are used to flavor a variety of curries and soups. Red curry pastes are based on dried chiles; green curry pastes on fresh chiles. Kaffir limes, cilantro, lemongrass, garlic, and shallots are often included. Curry pastes are available in Asian and gourmet markets; I use the Mae Ploy brand from Thailand. Use the pastes judiciously, because they tend to be really spicy; use less than the recipe calls for the first time, and then work your way up!


Indonesian curry powder, called java, is milder than Indian and contains additional ground turmeric, reflecting the local cooking style. I buy the Sun brand. You can substitute a mild Indian curry powder and add an extra half- teaspoon of turmeric to the recipe at the same time.


Asian eggplants tend to be slimmer in shape than the big Italian ones. They are less spongy and have fewer seeds, and never need to be salted and drained before cooking. Asian eggplants can be pale lavender to dark purple in color. They are available at Asian markets, but if you can't find them, use Italian eggplants that have been salted and drained before cooking.

To choose the eggplants with the fewest seeds, pick male ones rather than female. It's easy to tell the difference: at the base, male eggplants have a long groove, and female ones have a dimple.


Asian fish sauce, a thin, pale brown liquid, is used extensively in Thai and Vietnamese cooking. It has a very strong smell but provides a rounded, salty flavor. My favorite brand is Three Crab from Thailand. It is fairly easy to find in Asian markets; look for a section of Thai ingredients, because fish sauce is not used in China. There is no really good substitute, but you can try a combination of anchovy paste and lime juice.

Fish sauce is one of the most important ingredients in my kitchen; my staff teases that I put a dab of it behind each ear before I come to work!


This is a classic Chinese spice mixture of ground fennel seed, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and Szechuan peppercorns. You can buy premixed five- spice at any Asian market. My own slightly untraditional mixture calls for 2 parts fennel seeds, 2 parts Szechuan peppercorns, I part star anise, I part cinnamon, and I part black peppercorns. All the spices are toasted and then ground in a spice mill.


Galangal is a member of the ginger family and has a stronger, more peppery flavor. Fresh galangal is used to flavor soups and curries, but ginger can be used as a substitute. Like ginger, galangal roots should be clean and firm when you buy them, not soft.


Meaning "hot spice" in India, garam masala is a mixture of the warm flavors of cumin, cinnamon, coriander, and others, depending on the cook. My basic garam masala consists of 1 part cinnamon, 2 parts coriander seed, 2 parts cumin, 1 part cardamom seed, and 2 parts black peppercorn. All the spices are toasted just before using and then ground in a spice mill.


This is liquid essence of ginger, for when you want the flavor of ginger in your dish but not the texture. For each tablespoon of ginger juice, finely mince 1 tablespoon of peeled fresh ginger root and then mix in 1 tablespoon of water. Let it sit a minute or two, then squeeze out the juice in your hand or, for neater results, strain the juice through cheesecloth, squeezing to extract all the flavor from the ginger.


This thick, tangy paste made from soybeans, chiles, garlic, and sesame seeds is a very common seasoning in Chinese cooking and quite addictive. Any Asian market will stock it.


Kaffir limes themselves are too knobby and pithy to use in cooking, but the dried leaves of the tree impart their floral fragrance to many Thai dishes. You can buy the leaves fresh or frozen at Asian markets, particularly those that carry Thai products (they are not used in China). A teaspoon of finely grated lime zest is a reasonable substitute, but do not add it to the dish until just before serving; the delicate perfume disappears quickly.


Lemongrass is an herb and not a citrus fruit, but its scent comes from the same chemical compounds found in lemon zest. It looks rather like a long, grassy pale-green scallion. The bottom should be moist and pungent- smelling, but the tips of the leaves may be dry. It's one of the signature flavors of Southeast Asian cooking. It can be very strong (in fact, lemongrass is closely related to citronella), so use only as much as the recipe calls for.


All the lentil recipes in this book call for Indian split red lentils (masoor dal). They have a smooth, delicate texture and nutty flavor. They turn golden during cooking.

The lentils are small and dark pink to red, and are split into two round halves. They are sometimes also known in this country as red chief lentils. Indian golden lentils are a good substitute (they'll be called toor dal or arhar dal at Indian markets).

Regular brown and green lentils can be substituted without affecting the flavor, but the color of the dish will become rather murky.


This sweet rice wine is used in Japanese cooking. Kikoman Aji-Mirin is my favorite; it's not too cloying or as sweet as the other mirins I have tasted. If you can't find it, use sake or dry vermouth and add a pinch of sugar to it.


Miso is the generic word for the family of naturally fermented soybean pastes used as seasonings and marinades in Japanese cooking. Aga miso, also known as red miso, is reddish brown in color and is salty and fairly mild. Genmai miso is brown miso made from brown rice. Shiro miso, my favorite, is a white (really pale yellow) miso. It is made with white rice and soybeans, and is relatively mild tasting and low in salt. It's also known as sweet or blond miso.


Dried Chinese mushrooms, known as black mushrooms, are simply dried shiitake mushrooms. They are available at any Asian market. To use them for cooking, cover with hot water and let soak for at least 30 minutes. Lift the mushrooms out of the bowl; a small amount of grit and dust will have settled at the bottom of the bowl. If you are going to use the liquid for cooking, strain it through cheesecloth first. Remove the stems of the mushrooms before slicing or cooking; they are too woody to eat.

The best substitute is not another dried mushroom but fresh shiitake mushrooms. Again, the stems must be removed before cooking. If you cannot find fresh shiitakes, use any flavorful fresh mushroom.


A knobby, pickled root vegetable that looks like ginger but tastes like cabbage. Szechuan mustard is preserved with chile, so minced Korean kim chee or Chinese pickled mustard greens are good substitutes. Even American sauerkraut would work. Use about ¼ cup for each knob of mustard called for.


Plum wines from Japan and China vary greatly in quality and sweetness. Japanese Gekkeikan is the brand I use. It is a wine actually made from plums, unlike the cheaper varieties that sometimes are rice wine infused with plums. Ruby port is a good substitute.


Rice is a grain, the fruit of a grass plant, and the staple food of more than half the world's population. There are hundreds of varieties of rice. To simplify the categories, I'll break them into long- and short-grain rices. Long-grain rices include jasmine, basmati, Chinese, and American Carolina. They are aromatic and tend to separate when cooked. They can all be cooked according to the method for Basic Rice. Short-grain rices include sushi, arborio, carnaroli, Camargue rice, and red rice. They also include sticky rice, sometimes called sweet or glutinous rice. Each of these rices has a slightly different cooking method. See the recipes for Basic Rice and Sticky Rice (both here).


These very thin noodles are widely used in Southeast Asian cooking; you may have encountered them in the Vietnamese dishes called bun. Unlike Italian or Chinese wheat noodles, rice noodles do not have to be cooked but can be rehydrated in very hot water. Put the noodles in a large pot of boiling water, turn off the heat, and let soak for 5 minutes, stirring to separate the noodles, then drain. Rinse under cold running water. If not using immediately, toss the noodles in a few teaspoons of canola oil to keep them from clumping together. I buy the Erawan brand from Thailand; it is available at Asian markets.


These are the thin white sheets used in Vietnamese cooking to wrap summer rolls. They are available dried at Asian markets. I use the 8-inch rounds.

To rehydrate, season a shallow bowl of warm water with a pinch of sugar, a splash of rice vinegar, and a splash of beer. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Place one round in the water, let soak a few seconds, then lift out, shaking off excess water. Place on a lint-free kitchen towel to absorb the remaining liquid. Repeat, stacking the sheets between layers of towels. When ready to use, begin with the sheets at the bottom of the stack.


Rice wines are made all over Asia. I much prefer the ones made in Japan (called sake) and Taiwan over the Chinese brands; they are more consistent in flavor and quality. My favorite brand of sake is Gekkeikan. Dry vermouth and bone-dry fino sherry make good substitutes.


Sambal is the generic Southeast Asian term for a variety of chile-based pastes and condiments. I use the simplest, sambal oelek, made of just chiles, vinegar, and a little garlic. Like Tabasco, sambal can be added to a variety of dishes to provide a bit of heat; it does not require cooking.

My favorite sambal is made by Huy Fong Foods. It comes in a plastic jar with a green lid and a picture of a rooster on the label.


These air-dried sausages made with pork and spices are dark red and very firm. Chinese sausage is very much like salami and can be eaten raw, but it tastes best when stir-fried or steamed to render some of the fat.

The most consistent brand that I have found is Golden Mountain, manufactured in Vancouver, Canada. If necessary, a hard Italian salami can be used instead.


A popular seasoning in Asian cooking, dried shrimp have a strong smell, but their flavor is only subtly fishy, especially after cooking. I like the crunch they add to certain classic Thai dishes. Dried shrimp tend to be very salty; soak them for at least 15 minutes before using to soften them and remove some of the salt. Drain well.

Asian markets that carry Thai ingredients will have dried shrimp. The larger shrimp are more expensive, but since I usually chop them up, the size may not matter.


Palm sugar, made either from palm syrup or sugar cane juice, is a sweetener used in Southeast Asia, where it is known as gula malaka or gula java. Indian jaggery, an unrefined cane sugar, is the same thing. It comes in a solid one-pound log. Or mix dark brown sugar with a little molasses.


Szechuan peppercorns are not really members of the pepper family (they are unrelated to black, white, green, and pink peppers); instead, they are a small berry from the prickly ash tree. These small berries are too strong to be used on their own; see recipe for Szechuan pepper salt.


Tamarind paste adds a key tart note to many Indian and Southeast Asian dishes. Pure tamarind pulp comes in 8-ounce compressed blocks, available at Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern markets. Before using, you have to soften it and remove the seeds: Place the block in a saucepan and barely cover with water. Heat to a simmer and cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Then push the mixture through a strainer to remove the stringy bits and seeds. The paste will last indefinitely in the refrigerator.


I like yogurt to be thicker and creamier (more like Indian or Mediterranean yogurt) than the commercial American product. I buy Greek or Middle Eastern yogurt when I can, or goat-milk yogurt, or the dairy product called quark that is often available at health food stores.

To thicken supermarket yogurt, start with whole-milk yogurt (fat-free yogurt will not work). For 1 cup of thick yogurt, start with 2 cups of regular yogurt and pour into a strainer lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Set over a bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours or so. Discard the liquid.


A spice mix common all over the Eastern Mediterranean area, za'atar is a combination of thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds. The recipe and proportions vary according to the country (for example, Syrian za'atar includes mint), but the mix is commonly sprinkled over salads and stews, or mixed with oil to make a spread for bread. You can buy it at any Middle Eastern market.


Excerpted from Patricia Yeo Cooking from A to Z by Patricia Yeo, Julia Moskin, Alexander Martinez and Jody H. Fausett. Copyright © 2002 Patricia Yeo and Julia Moskin. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Patricia Yeo is the executive chef at the restaurants AZ and Pazo in Manhattan. Her culinary career has included work in Bobby Flay's kitchens at Miracle Grill, Mesa Grill, and Bolo in New York. In San Francisco, she worked at Barbara Tropp's China Moon, and later opened the restaurant Hawthorne Lane, to rave reviews.

Julia Moskin is the co-author of six previous cookbooks including Bobby Flay Cooks American.

Both live in New York City.

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Patricia Yeo: Cooking from A to Z 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love clopfics so much. I always love them. This was very good, just try including more than rarity in your story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rarity trod on the smooth sand, lu<_>sting after an unknown someone, anyone, really. She was getting pretty desperate for some se<_>x, even though she was a virgin. <br> <p> She spotted something up ahead. It was silver, long, round, and thick... why, it was a horn! It must have fallen off a unicorn. 'Perfect to please myself,' Rari thought. She laid beneath a palm tres and spread her legs. 'I'll ma<_>sturbate first,' she thougt. She brought her hooves up her legs, messing with her cl<>it. She played with it with one hoof, while the other found her pu<_>ssy. <br> <p> Rari didn't know how long she laid there ma<_>sturbating, or how much she cu<_>mmed. Finally, she got tired of playing with herself, so she studied the horn. It looked like a di<_>ldo if sorts. "Maybe that's what it is," she said thoughtfully. She shrugged and started su<_>cking it, lu<_>bricating it for pe<_>netration. She teased herself, gently going over her cl<_>it with it. She shuddered in delight. She began sliding it in her pu<_>ssy carefully, trying to handle the big horn. <br> <p> She slowly pushed it in, thrusting her hips up. She gave in to excitement and thrust it inside deeply. "Oh," she moaned. She pulled it out partially, then jerked it back in roughly. She continued hammering herself like that, groaning in pleasure. <br> <p> She cu<_>mmed, leaving a white stain on the yellow sand. "I need to share this with someone," she decided. Just then she saw bubbles on the surface of the ocean, and caught a glimpse of lots of tentacles. <br> <p> ~Qualli